Rest: Birthday week part 2: Nachos and the elusive H&M

Last post I left you at the cusp of my birthday extravaganza. My birthday did not end with just a bike ride (as pleasant as it was). Well first, I convinced boyfriend to go shopping with me by lobbying that the men's section at H&M would allow him to find a decent selection of cheap, simple clothing. I also convinced the boyfriend that there is a H&M at Chandler Mall, a fact that I had already convinced myself of a few weeks prior when I had visited my sister there.

Twenty minutes of traffic, bad drivers and parking lot fiascos later, we arrived at Chandler Mall. Now, I live in a college-ish town. I only say "ish" because there is more to the city than just the college, unlike many other college towns, but it still offers the saturation of co-ops, hipsters, hippies, small businesses, bikes and skateboards that so many other college towns are known for. Well Chandler Mall is, well, opposite. It's the epitome of suburbia, a symbol for the middle-class, chain-loving golfers of the world. I have nothing against suburbia, most of my family resides in some form of suburbia, but I do have a hard time stomaching a mall full of teenage suberbians. But the boyfriend and I stayed strong and crusaded our way through the hormonal masses.

And then we arrive at the destination...which isn't H&M. It's Forever 21, which is definitely different, especially for a guy. FAIL. There is no H&M at Chandler Mall. MAJOR FAIL.

I somehow managed to find a cute birthday party outfit in under 15 minutes and we were out of there.

Then I took a nap.
And we finally arrive at the birthday party. I had my party and a dingy little bar called Boulders on Broadway. It's an American pub-like bar catered to rock climbers and cyclists. They also have a ton of beer on tap, which is why I love it. Apparently when I exercise intensely, I get drunk faster, which is fine, and cheaper for me. I was a happy drunk, and greeted everyone with an overzealous smile and hug.

I ordered some nachos around 10:00. Then again around 11:00. Then again around midnight. The third time was shocking enough o get a few gawks and high fives from my alcohol guzzling peers. I think a few girls were disgusted. The rest of the night consisted of a couple shots but mostly beer. I was gifted a few scratchers (is that something people do often?) that did not win me one million dollars, and ended the night with most of my class still in tact. SUCCESS.

I'll spare you a post on my hangover. Thank god the holidays are finally over.


Rest: Birthday Week Part 1: Why I'm a Traitor

I admit it, I'm a traitor. This past week, I joined the dark side. I took a break from running, pulled on some spandex and climbed onto my NEW road bike. That's right, new. So let me explain myself:

1) Saturday was my birthday. I was supposed to run a 5k in the morning, but my achilles tendon was still causing a minor ache.
2) Saturday was my birthday. My wonderful, wonderful boyfriend bought me a new (used) road bike. He received many gold stars.
3) I had to take almost a week off of running to let my leg heal (no pun intended!).
4) Boyfriend loves road bikes, so it's nice to ride together sometimes since we both enjoy it.

So I have been riding my new bicycle, and I haven't been running. Please forgive me.

I started with a casual ride with the girls (one of which races competitively) on Thursday. We did about 15 miles. It wasn't  a major work out but I used it to become more acquainted with my bike as well as with the girls. You see, I need girlfriends. It seems most of mine don't come out during the day unless there are bloody marys involved. So the idea of having girl friends that I can actually be athletic with is a tantalizing concept that makes me all giddy inside, like first date giddy, really. This little problem only emphasizes my dire need to join a running club/group, but darn it, I'm still scared. So until I join a running club, I am very happy to have some ladies to ride bikes with.

There seemed to be a mild desert hurricane on Friday. So we skipped the ride due to wind.

Then came Saturday. Boyfriend and cycling girl friend took me on the notorious PISS ride (I don't know why they call it that). They also secretly told another male member of the racing team that he could come along, unbeknownst to me.  Suddenly I was on a group ride, scary. I did 30 miles, with lots of hills!!! Pretty bad ass. and pretty fun too.

I really can't tell which sport I like better, cycling or running, and frankly I don't think I have to pick one. I mean neither sport is logically better for you than the other (I know all you professional cyclists or runners are going to argue that one), and all that really matters is whether or not I am enjoying the sport, and getting something out of it. For now, those requirements appeal to both sports. But running is so much more available. Cycling requires a lot of money and time. Plus there's something really striking to me about a sport that is completely dependent on my body. There's no equipment, strategies or rules to road running. It's just about how hard I can push myself. So for now, I'm still a runner. But by the end of PISS ride, I felt like I might collapse, so it was a good substitute for my birthday 5k.

This puts you up to date until my birthday extravaganza.. which is a topic worth having its own post...

To Be Continued


Rate: Runner's first injury

Bad news. It hurts to walk. I have apparently strained and/or torn my achilles tendon... I think. However this is my own personal diagnosis and I have yet to visit the wise old doctor. After a bout of intense google searching, I have learned a bit about running injuries, Achilles tendonitis being one of the most common. Apparently, if I'm not careful this could become a major reoccurring problem. Sadly, I have to work tonight, which means I will be putting hours of strain on my ankles and their linking tendons. So let's hope that my next post won't consist of groans and sobs of how badly I am in pain and of how sad I am to cancel my first 5k. It's only three days away, you know?

They say that you can hurt your Achilles tendon by doing speed and/or hill work, by not stretching appropriately or by not warming up and cooling down properly. Unfortunately I'm guilty of all charges. So I've been icing, massaging, stretching and hoping for the best. I am also wearing my black Asics to work, which is something I thought I would never consider since tennis shoes are almost always a fashion disaster, especially when worn with a dress shirt and fancy necklaces. But I must give my ankles as much support as possible.

If anyone has any suggestions or tips on how to heal faster, or even a charming anecdote of similar experiences, then please share.

On a side note, I am 3/4 into Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, and I have saturated myself in the writer's gradual climb into insanity. I feel like a bit of a weirdo for getting so enthralled with a book with such repulsive subject matter, but the thing is so well written and enticing that I can't help it. Consequently, it makes me feel a bit insane myself. So please forgive the abrupt sentences and any other change you see in my writing voice today. I am a Literature nerd at heart, you know.

Work Out:

Run: None :(
Resting: TONS
Thoughts/Emotions/Concerns: I do hope that I get better quickly!


Rate: My power suit

Today, I wore my power suit, and I think it worked. After much preparation, I had an interview today for a position that I really, I mean REALLY want. Besides the fact that I once again woke up sniffling and sneezing, I went in feeling fairly confident. Although I am far from eloquent when my nerves get the best of me, I think it went well. So sweet readers, please send your positive thoughts, good luck and prayers my way. I'll let you know what happens.
I celebrated with a large Mexican lunch, which was probably a bad decision. At this rate, I'll never lose a pound and I'll forever be bloated. Predictably, the lunch caused my run to be a bit painful, but it still paid off. I ran 3.1 miles, which is a 5k I believe, because I need to prepare myself for the race on Saturday (that I'm feeling very nervous about).

Run: 3.1 miles, 32.17 minutes

Pace: slow first two miles, moderate for the second

Thoughts/Emotions/Concerns: Frankly, all I can think about is that interview

Rate: Allergy Season

Spring is so bittersweet. The days linger at 75 degrees with a light breeze to soften the sunshine. The birds are chirping and flowers are blooming. There's even a distinct Arizona smell that happens only l in the beginning of spring. Beautiful isn't it? Too bad those dreamy flowers and that peaceful breeze are making me itch and sneeze. My allergies have been out of control.

I had a really good training week. I stuck to my schedule and worked hard. Then came Friday. Friday's run was short and slow, as scheduled. Post-run was supposed to consist of stretching and relaxing. Well the stretching happened, but by the time i was done stretching the pollen had taken over my body and I was a sniffly, sneezy mess. Although it was somewhat manageable most of the day, by four O'clock the problem peaked and I was loading up on Benadryl and camping out on the couch with Kleenex.

So what I'm trying to get at is that I didn't do my long run on Saturday. I had to work that night and although I woke up feeling much better, I was terrified I'd be miserable again if I dared to venture into the great outdoors. I was too afraid to run on Sunday too. Sad, isn't it? I'm afraid to go outside.

Well Monday my allergies were back at it so I decided to go to the gym. The treadmill is boring. Really, really boring. However I decided to work on my speed and did my second mile under 9:00 minutes, but then I was too tired to go on.I blew myself out. I also managed to give myself one hell of a blister. So I lifted upper body weights.

Monday Work Out:

Run: 22 minutes, one mile fast pace

Strength: triceps, shoulders, back

Emotions/Thoughts/Concerns: I need an ipod if I'm to venture to the gym ever again.

Well now my work out schedule is all topsy turvy.


Rate: The Joys of serving tables

I try not to complain about people too much. I try not to let people really get under my skin. Granted, people are annoying, but it just seems like a waste of energy to let every other jack-ass make my blood boil. I mean, that’s a pointless peeve that can never be fixed. People are different—fine.

But with that little disclaimer over with, I’d like to take a few minutes of your time to share my serving (waitressing) experiences last night. My second customer of the night was a single woman, about 55-60 years of age. She was wearing a big, round hat, giant sunglasses and a yellow blouse resembling a Tommy Bahama display. She was clearly the type of woman who had been pampered all her life, and had never really stopped to wonder if maybe her personality could use some tweaking so she would appear less bitchy and snooty to the rest of the world. Here’s the conversation:

I walk up to her table and she’s on the phone, obviously just listening to her voicemail since she’s pressing buttons every few seconds.

She waves her finger up at me gesturing that if I just stand there a second she’ll be off the phone.

She points at a salad on the menu, looks up, looks down, moves her finger down the glossy list of entrees and then starts shaking her head.

She puts her finger up again, implying “just hold on one second!”

About two minutes pass with similar gestures while my facial expressions evolve from welcoming and polite, to bored, to anxious about my other tables, to disgusted and resentful. She finally orders a salad and a glass of wine without the slightest apology for wasting my time.

After the salad arrives I ask her how it is.

“Eh, well…ah… (followed by a few exaggerated facial expression and elaborate chewing) Honestly, it’s a bit too salty. But other then that it’s fine.”

“Um, okay! I’ll let the chef know! Sorry about that.” I walk away grimacing.

A few minutes later:

“How was everything?”


“Would you like another glass of wine?”

“Okay, would you like anything else or shall I bring the check?”

“I really wish I could just try one slice of pizza. Oh I just wish I could try it, but that salad was just so big. Why was that salad so gigantic? I really wanted to try slice of pizza. Oh fine, I’ll try some pizza. I can just try a piece and then box it up.”

“Oh okay. I’ll grab you a menu.”

“NO! (very sternly) I want the Margarita!” With that tone she might have well said, “No you idiot little waitress who is so below my economic stature that you clearly couldn’t possibly have any ounce of intelligence or responsibility. Out of your long list of pizzsa that I could have been referring to, I want the Margarita. DUH.”

“You got it.”

A few minutes pass. She has tomato sauce all over her face.

“How’s the pizza?”

“Eh, well. ah….. it’s not very thin. You said it was thin. It’s not actually thin crust. “

“Oh well, it’s Artesian style. It’s a thin crust but it’s bubbly around the outside because that’s our style. Every pizzeria is different, but that’s how we make them.”

“Well okay. Ya…. But it’s not thin.”


I walk away and a few minutes pass.


Her wine has a large clump of sediments at the bottom. She’s holding the win glass up forcefully near my face. I go on to explain to her why sediments happen and that it’s a completely natural occurrence in a bottle of wine.

“It’s disgusting. I have never, ever, seen that in a glass of wine. “

“I’m sorry ma’am. I’ll take it off your tab.”

A few minutes pass and I bring the check, thank God.

“You know when I think of thin crust I think of crust that’s very thin and crispy. This just wasn’t crispy. “

“I’m sorry ma’am that’s just how we make it here. Have a great night.”

I walk away, feeling the need to punch babies or puppies. Next time I’ll be sure to cater the menu to your specific palette, you uptight lunatic.

That was the first fiasco. The second was when I accidentally deleted some one’s payment. They had already left. I ended up having to pay thirty dollars out of my own wage.

The third frustration was when a guy from my boyfriend’s bike team arrived at the restaurant with his girlfriend.. They not only forgot my name but she insisted that she had met me at the Christmas party three months ago—which was true, but we had met, conversed, and hung out about six times since then.  I see these people almost every weekend. I couldn’t believe it.

So it was a frustrating night. But that’s fine. We have our good nights and we have our bad nights. Stuff happens. Luckily, the night offered enough frustration for me to desperately crave a post-work run, and then pursue an evening of solitude and self-pampering. I forgot how much being alone really energizes me. I read, write, relax and take time to filter my thoughts and compose what I know about myself to be true. I need nights like that more often.

Work Out Summary

Run: 35 minutes. Moderate pace.
Drills: 5 minutes
Strength: abs, triceps, calves, shoulders
Emotions/Thoughts/Concerns: Running at night is scary, and I have much to vivid of an imagination. I had convinced myself there was a rapist in every alley and dark street. I don’t intend to make a habit of nighttime running, at least not in this city. 


Regalia: Saucony

I can feel it coming. It's creeping into my mornings, causing the sun to poor into my window earlier than usual.  It's slithering into my car, making the seats hot and the stale air hotter. I think I need to turn on the AC. Most of all, it's jeopardizing my mid-day runs causing me to lose 15 pounds in pure sweat alone. I can feel summer coming, and I'm scared. I love Arizona, I really do, and I am a big fat wimp when it comes to anything below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, but I'm just not ready for triple digit weather. I still have time, plenty of time, but still, I'm anxiously dreading summer's arrival.

It's 80 degrees out, which is beautiful, but it made my run a bit more intense. Actually, I kind of like getting extremely sweaty when I work out. It makes me feel like a real athlete, and it reminds me of summers playing softball. However, post-run, when I slowly wobbled into my bathroom, dripping sweat, and gazed into the mirror, it literally looked like I had changed ethnicity. It looked like my face had darkened three shades. I forgot how easily I tan. Time to buy some sunblock!!

Before I go into the work out summary I'd like to give you a little Running Regalia Review. As I try out new products, I feel it will be fun to share with you what I am getting out of them, how I feel about them, etc. Next time, the review will be in its own separate post. So here it is:

Running Regalia Review

About a week ago I made my first visit to Road Runner Sports. It was heaven. I've waited to share with you my experience there because I wanted to make sure that I was happy with the chosen shoe. I sure am. The Road Runner personnel first put me through their Shoe Dog technology. I walked on and over a exta-special, scientific gate analyzer which took an imprint of my footstep and presented it on the screen. Apparently I pronate inward. Now that I think about it, that makes sense, and that could definitely be contributing to my constant ankle pain. Then, I step on a tread mill and start running. It's confirmed: I DO inwardly pronate. My handy helper Mr. Frank then tests what size shoe I am (my right foot is bigger than my left), and takes me over to the insole area. To make a long story short we went through a series of testing, talking and running until I found a shoe and insole that gave me the perfect (almost) gait.

I finally ended up with the Saucony ProGrid Ride 2 (pictured above). You know you're a runner when you buy the dorkiest looking shoe on the shelf because it fits the best. After a week with my new shoes, I have to say my joints feel a lot better. My ankles don't feel like they are going to cave in the second I start running, and even my overall gait feels faster and smoother. Honestly, I contemplate never taking them off. Every other shoe now feels like it's killing me slowly. But for now I'm still too shallow to stick with running shoes as my daily foot attire.

Saucony is not as well known as may other brands because the company is solely (no pun intended) catering to runners. Their shoes seem a little bit stiffer than the others, but I think that the stiffness makes me run smoother overall. Plus I can already feel them morphing to my feet. I give Saucony three out of three first pumps, and I give Road Runner Sports a spot on my top five favorite stores list. Ya, I know, I tend to get a little too enthusiastic. But hey, the gear is a part of the game (or race)!

Work Out Summary:
Run: 11 minute warm up, 10 minute fartlek, 9 min easy pace.
Drills: Five minutes (I was soo hot by then!)
Strenght: Crunches, pushups, lunges, triceps resistance, calves


Run: Drowning in mucus

It's a horribly unique feeling-- not being able to breathe. My lungs begin to feel heavy and inflated, like they're filling up with liquid, like I'm drowning from the inside out. I concentrate on taking deep breathes, forcing the outside air into my stubborn,  overwhelmed lungs. It hurts to inhale so forcefully. But today is Tuesday and I am supposed to be getting myself ready for a 5k that is a mere 11 days from now. I have no time for stiff lungs and asthma attacks. Needless to say, today was a painful run. Each step caused my tired lungs to contract in panic. I had forgotten how horrible asthma can feel. Still, I made the day worth it.

I read in my new training book (soon to be reviewed) that I should approach each run with a solid goal. What am I trying to accomplish today? So today I decided that I was trying to shed my 5k time down to 10:30, which is a pretty big jump for me.

1st mile: Took it easy so I could get properly warmed up. About six minutes in, I felt warm enough to step up the pace, but the pace triggered my asthma immediately. It's finally spring in Arizona, which means my allergies and asthma may suffer horribly. I pulled it off though: 10:50 minutes.

2nd mile: This is the mile that really counts today. I am warm and not yet exhausted so this is the mile that i want to make count. Minus the continue asthma troubles, I'm feeling good. I was shocked to look down and see this record time 19:50 (9 minute mile!). I didn't know I was capable of that good of a time, especially during such a cumbersome asthma attack.

3rd mile: Things start to get rough in the third mile. Oh right, this is an endurance sport: must keep going. I literally thought I might throw up by the end up this mile, but I continued with a similar pace. Time: 30.03! I finished three miles in 30 minutes! Things are looking up.

5k time: 33:00ish!!!

Well I'm no elite racer yet, but i can definitely say that I have improved.


Run: Good days

Here's what went down:
1. Drove back from Tucson (less than favorable)
2. Went for my long run (see below)
3. Boyfriend cooked a tasty and healthy dinner
4. Boyfriend and I are working our way through the Oscar-winning films, ya know, after the Oscar's.  So we watched A Serious Man, which ended up being very serious. It's a great film, really well done, but boy oh boy is it depressing. However, being the glass is half full type person that I am, I managed to conclude that the writer and/or director was trying to motivate the viewers, specifically me, to lead proactive lives. "Sometimes you've just got to help yourself." Aint it the truth. Fittingly, I then moved on to activity number five.
5. Signed up for a 5k!!!! Holla Holla!! Yes my dear, potential readers, the Blonde Bullet is going to run her first 5k. The event takes place on March 27th (conveniently on my birthday). I was feeling fairly confident and motivated after the weekend, however I am now officially beginning to panic. I mean I run VERY slowly.  And some trainers suggest only running a few 5Ks a season whereas I initially thought I could start doing them every weekend. So I really cannot blow this first one too bad. But all jitters aside, I am very excited.
6. Read.
7. Nine hours of sleep

Run: 60 minutes, 11-minute average. 5 miles in 55 minutes.
Thoughts/aches/concerns: Surprise, surprise, the drills and sprints yesterday were a bad idea. I was so sore. I think it took me over 20 minutes to actually warm up. It was one of the least pleasant runs that I've had in a while. The entire time I was thinking how great it would be to start walking. I just felt lethargic.  I mean it wasn't a bad run, I kept my pace where I wanted it and I completed my time, it just didn't feel good.

Run: Spandex, September and speed

There's nothing like sitting in front of a coffee shop, at 7:30 am, with six extraordinarily skinny men who cannot stop talking about groups, kits, wheels, races and anything else that has to do with bikes. The VW Jetta, VW Golf, and Mini XB Scion look quite charming (and hilarious) with a total of eight ornately decaled racing bikes carefully mounted to their rooftops. We’re headed to the Tucson Bike Classic. One hour into my experience as token girlfriend, I’m already questioning how much I love my bike-obsessed boyfriend. KIDDING. I love him in all his spandex-wearing glory. I'll let you know how the trip goes.

Thursday's Work Out:

Run: 33 minutes, moderate to fast pace.

Thoughts/Emotions/Aches: I'm making a solid effort these days to work on my speed. I did my first mile as a warm up, and felt really fresh. I did the first mile at around 11 minutes. Then I stepped it up. I ran my next two miles at a little over a 10 minute/mile pace! It was difficult at first, but surprisingly, once i get used to the pace, running faster isn't all that difficult. For the next few weeks, I plan on really concentrating on my speed. I did a little research and it looks like I don't have to be training hard for the marathon until about 5 months before hand. Assuming that I'm running the P.F. Chang's marathon, I don't have to start training until September. All that is important now is that I build up my mileage. So in the meantime, I am making an effort to work on my speed and athleticism so that I can run a few 5Ks and turn this into a lifestyle, rather than a painful hobby.

There's nothing like sitting in front of a coffee shop, at 7:30 am, with six extraordinarily skinny men who cannot stop talking about groups, kits, wheels, races and anything else that has to do with bikes. The VW Jetta, VW Golf, and Mini XB Scion look quite charming (and hilarious) with a total of eight ornately decaled racing bikes carefully mounted to their rooftops. We’re headed to the Tucson Bike Classic. One hour into my experience as token girlfriend, I’m already questioning how much I love my bike-obsessed boyfriend. KIDDING. I love him in all his spandex-wearing glory. I'll let you know how the trip goes.

Thursday's Work Out:

Run: 33 minutes, moderate to fast pace.

Thoughts/Emotions/Aches: I'm making a solid effort these days to work on my speed. I did my first mile as a warm up, and felt really fresh. I did the first mile at around 11 minutes. Then I stepped it up. I ran my next two miles at a little over a 10 minute/mile pace! It was difficult at first, but surprisingly, once i get used to the pace, running faster isn't all that difficult. For the next few weeks, I plan on really concentrating on my speed. I did a little research and it looks like I don't have to be training hard for the marathon until about 5 months before hand. Assuming that I'm running the P.F. Chang's marathon, I don't have to start training until September. All that is important now is that I build up my mileage. So in the meantime, I am making an effort to work on my speed and athleticism so that I can run a few 5Ks and turn this into a lifestyle, rather than a painful hobby.


Rest: Tucson tour part. 2

Little did I know that I would be spending all day in a parking lot, living out of a car, surrounded my competitive road bikers. Ya that’s right, from 10:30am to 5:30pm, I was stranded in the competition parking lot. Fuuuuuunn. Actually, I kind of enjoy being at competitions, surrounded by competitive athletes. It reminds me of my softball days in high school and it really motivates me to become a more competitive runner.

While the men did their practice lap, I decided I might as well get my run out of the way…since I would otherwise have absolutely nothing to do. I tiptoed into a porter-potty, awkwardly attempting to change into my running clothes without touching anything (not possible).  I then confidently walked out into the beautiful Tucson sunshine, and immediately took a self-esteem plunge when I realized how weird I looked in running gear when everyone else is wearing spandex. I can imagine their thoughts: Who is this girl? Does she think this is a duathalon? She better stay off of our courses. Luckily, nothing of the sort was said out loud, and I quickly got over my fear.

Fridays are supposed to be an easy day in order to prepare me for my long runs on Saturdays. However, I wanted to work a bit harder to make up for missing my work out on Wednesday  (which is a stupid thing to do I’ve heard. Oh and YES, that is correct: I have not been able to %100 stick to my training schedule since I started this endeavor. Awesome.). So I did a 30-minute, fairly easy run on a beautiful road covered in Saguaros. It was beautiful…minus the speedy cyclists that I imagined wanted to angrily run me over. I then proceeded to do 15 minutes of drills and sprints—that’s where my mistake lies. I felt extremely warm and extremely fast, so the sprints were extremely enjoyable. I remembered how much I love sprinting. Two sprints in and I had already concluded that I was probably going to be a national 5k winner someday soon. Duh. Shoot, I’m not gonna lie, I was a pretty fast base runner in high school, I was born for sprints! Good workout you say? INDEED! But I may regret it tomorrow when I attempt to run 60 minutes with sore, stiff legs. 


Run: Nervous purvis

Well with one interview out the way (however, I can’t seem to stop shaking) I can provide you with a bit of a work out re-cap.  You’ll be proud to hear that I went through with my cross-training endeavors on Monday. I rode my bike for about 18 miles, which isn’t much, but it was a pretty bad day for my asthma.  It’s amazing how different cycling and running are for a work out. They work very similar muscles, and they are both moderate-intensity, endurance sports, and yet I find each activity to work my lungs and muscles in a different way. If I can come up with the cash to invest in a new bike and kit, then I’ll be able to incorporate cycling into my schedule more consistently. Other than the cycling, my off days consisted of four birthdays, more rain, and a lot of pre-interview anxiety.

I was glad to discover that I didn’t feel rusty at all for my run yesterday. I ran for 30 minutes and a quicker pace then usual and it was pretty easy. I’m starting to sweat less, breathe slower and be able to take in the neighborhood scenery. I assume this means that I have reached a changing point in my training schedule. I’m no longer just training myself to be a runner, but rather am actually training to race. It’s a good feeling.

Tuesday Run: 32 minutes; moderate intensity
Strength: Very light, with crunches and a few upper body strength exercises 
Thoughts/Emotions/Pains: I am a runner hear me roar! 5k anyone?

Be ready for another post tonight with a summary of today’s workout.


Run: Lost lakeside

I am a bit ashamed to call myself a Phoenix native today, but at least I have some interesting information for all you potential readers out there. Today, being Saturday, is my official long run day. So I forewent my invitation to the boyfriends Criterium, and laced up my black ASICS to apprehensively attempt my 75 minute goal. All was going fine and normal; I was a little bit warm due to the 72 degree weather, but other than some extra sweat, I was feeling fine. I passed the Tempe Town Lake main entrance at about my 20 minute mark. I usually pass the park and stay on the sidewalk so as to make a big loop, but today I thought I'd try out the Beach Park paths (it's not really a beach we Arizonians just get excited about water; it's only a dam system with a cement path and desert trees built around it). I had to add 15 minutes to my work out, so I figured one lap around the lake would add the perfect amount of time. There was my first error in judgement. My second was when I kept my mouth open while running through a swarm of gnats.

About fifteen minutes into my jog around the lake, I realized it was much, I mean much, bigger than I had ever realized. Uh well, I figured, I might as well keep going. How long can it be? I awkwardly passed the rowing competition taking place, picking up my speed to a unbelievable record pace of 8.38 minutes/mile so that I wouldn't be in the midst of the screaming rowing fans for too long. Well 25 long and confusing minutes later (that's 40 around the lake combined with twenty to get there; 60 total), I dead ended on the wrong side of the lake.  I missed the bridge- perfect. So I back track. Hitting a record time for myself, I realize I'm exhausted and parched, and sadly, still running around Tempe Town Lake. So I pause my Garmin and take a drink at the convenient little water fountain. Then, being the genius that I am today, forgot to turn my Garmin back on. I clearly don't notice this mistake any time soon because I am so relieved with my discovery of the entrance of the bridge. About ten minutes later, I realize my stupidity and turn on my Garmin. I continued running until I about collapsed.

Total time: somewhere between 80-90 minutes.
Total Distance: Somewhere between 6.8-7.8 miles

Since I had finally made it over the bridge, and near the correct exit, I slid into a slow, pathetic walk. Sadly, I had about 3 more miles of walking before I'd make it home.

Moral of the story: Next time I'm driving to Tempe Town lake. It's much bigger than I realized.

With all that said, I should get two fist pumps or three high fives for running 80-90 minutes!

Two other awesome things that happened in the last day:

1. The boyfriend and I went to a spring training game (A's vs. Brewers), and it was so much fantabulous fun. We sat in the left field section and could pretty much give any member of the Brewers bull pen a friendly "good game" pat on the tush.... if we had wanted to. It was absolutely gorgeous out, the field looked amazing, the beer was delish and gee do I love baseball. It was the perfect way to spend our one year anniversary. It's days like that that make me fall in love with Arizona all over again. I do get cynical at times, and the summers are pretty unbearable, but AZ has some absolutely amazing attractions to offer, not to mention the beautiful weather. I am going to make it a point to start appreciating the things about Arizona that I absolutely love, such as:

The beautiful weather
Spring Training Games
Tempe Town Lake (that's a new addition to the list)
Southwestern artwork and style
My awesome neighborhood
Bike Friendly streets
The variety of easy and awesome day trip possibilities
The old rustic houses
The shopping
The swimming pools

I could go on, but I think you get the point.

2. I got a job interview! And it's not just any interview. I am interviewing for the food editor position at Sheknows.com. I absolutely love this website and it would be such an amazing place to work. So check out the website and send me good thoughts, luck and prayers.


Rest: Landmark Days

Happy one year to me and the boyfriend!!! Due to the day of festivities, I will not be providing much information today. But look forward to a great post tomorrow, recapping my long run and my celebratory day of festivities.


Rest: Athletes and artists can be friends

I woke up this morning with a pit in my stomach which probably had to do with the $100 I recklessly blew on food and beer last night. So rather than provide you with a mundane summarization of my Thursday morning drear and lack of motivation to run, I'll instead send you to one of my favorite reads, Interview Magazine, where you can read this lovely interview with Mark Parker, CEO and President of Nike. Please read it.

His poetic drive really inspires me. He flawlessly combines the aesthetic of athletes and artist not only in his shoes and in his Stages collaboration with Lance Armstrong (click here), but also in his entire worldview. Parker states,
"I’m drawn to people who are obsessed, and I guess people who know me have described me that way—a little otaku... it’s that incredible drive and almost single-mindedness that is really impressive. And obviously it doesn’t have to just be in sports. It’s in science and art and music and filmmaking—everywhere.  That’s the connection."
Obsession is exactly what I need. I 'm half way there, I can sense that much. I have obsessed enough to buy the running books, make a training schedule, and stick to it most of the time, but I haven't reached that other level.  That level where all I can think about is running. I'll constantly be reading about it, working on my speed, talking to friends about it, fearlessly making it the center of my life. I haven't even done that with writing and I claim it to be my greatest passion. Is that what makes the greatest great? A single-minded obsession? Or is it possible to be a little less obsessed with a lot of different things?

Ran: 35 minutes, middle ten at fast pace
Drills: Ten minutes
Strength: Ten minutes
Emotions/Thoughts/Concerns: My work out today was exhausting, and it shouldn't have been. I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but boy do I need to work on my diet.


Run: Motivation after a long weekend

It's extremely difficult to motivate myself to run after taking two days off in a row. I'd rather be drinking beer, laying out at a near by hotel pool and enjoying myself while finishing up my current read. I wish my work schedule didn't force me to schedule my time that way. But I still managed to muster up the inspiration to do a short run at mid day. It was about 25 minutes, but at a quicker pace then usual. I was a little crampy due to a big, greasy breakfast, but I continued to run, and I continued to run quickly. It was one of the first times since I picked up this hobby that I actually enjoyed my run. I mean, I like exercising, and therefore I like the condition that running puts me in, but I can't say that until today I have ever enjoyed my run, while running. If this is how I feel on a day that I was dreading running, then I assume things are gong to get more exciting from here on out.  The only strength training I did was crunches. It's a short one today but they're be much more next time!